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A close-up of a male white-tailed deer

Male White-Tailed Deer

A close-up of a female white-tailed deer

Female White-Tailed Deer

An image of white-tailed deer tracks

White-Tailed Deer

Reddish-brown to blue-gray or tan coloring; underside of tail is white, producing a “flag” when raised off the rump. Antlers on the male primarily consist of a main beam with tines growing from it. Maximum antler size occurs between 5–7 years of age.

Habitat and Habits

Range movements limited to one to three miles depending on sex, age, and habitat. Herbivore. Lives up to 10 years. Male is polygamous, with most whitetails in North America rutting in November. One to two spotted fawns is typical.

How to Distinguish Adult White-Tailed Deer From Fawns*


  • Short, square bodies (look like a briefcase from a distance)
  • Short necks and less muscle development
  • Rarely have swaying backs or sagging bellies
  • Ears appear large in comparison to head


  • Larger, rectangular-shaped bodies (look like a suitcase from a distance)
  • Long necks
Distinguish adult deer from fawns

How to Identify Buck Fawns*

  • Presence of developing antlers
  • Head appears more flat and less rounded between ears

How to Identify Doe Fawns*

  • No developing antlers
  • Head appears slightly rounded between ears

* Courtesy of the Quality Deer Management Association
A close-up of a white-tailed buck fawn
A close-up of a white-tailed doe fawn
  • Unit 12 of 13
  • Topic 3 of 4
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